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The Anatomy of the Mosquito

Mosquitoes are not the kind of flying insect you want sticking around just to gaze at its marvelousness. They aren't as cute as ladybugs, or intriguing like ants. Yet, they are very common, and understanding what makes a mosquito a mosquito provides insight into their behavior. Read on to find out some fun facts about mosquito anatomy.

Mosquitoes have three main body parts: head, thorax and abdomen.

Head and eyes. The head is where the insect's sensory activity happens. Mosquitoes have compound eyes, which are composed of numerous tiny lenses that give them a wide view of the world. It's like having a wide-angle camera lens attached to both sides of your head. Their eyes have weaker vision than single-lens eyes (simple eyes), but this vast collection of lenses pick up a lot of motion, helping them fly away quickly before you can swat them.

Head and proboscis. Female mosquitoes are able to take blood from you thanks to a long, needle-like tube called a proboscis. The proboscis contains six individual needles (covered by a protective sheath), and functions somewhat like an insect Swiss army knife. Two needles have sharp serrated edges for cutting into skin like a skilled surgeon, and two benign needles hold the others at bay during the operation. Next, she uses her probing needle to find choice blood vessels underneath the skin, and then uses the same needle to suck blood into her body. Lastly, there's a needle that injects you with saliva and blood-flow stimulating chemicals, causing you to have an itchy allergic reaction.

Thorax. This is the upper body of the mosquito where two wings and six delicate legs are attached. They use their large wings for seeking food and mates. Most spend their lives buzzing within a few hundred feet of their birthplace.

Abdomen. Mosquitoes have long, narrow abdomens for digesting fluids. If you ever have the pleasure of watching a mosquito bite in action, you'll see her translucent abdomen turn red as she feeds. To make room for as much blood as possible, they remove water from blood as they drink, squeezing it out the back of the abdomen in tiny droplets.

Do Mosquitoes Need Blood to Live?

Mosquitoes don't need blood to survive, and they get plenty of nourishment from honeydew and plant sugars. Only females drink blood, and they do it to stock up on protein so they can make eggs. During her lifespan, a female mosquito may create hundreds of eggs.

How They Find You

Mosquitoes are equipped with sophisticated sensors that can hone in on you without you realizing it. One of their superpowers is the ability to smell human breath, and because you must breathe, there's no way to stop them from detecting carbon dioxide with every exhale. Hiding is impossible because they use their mouth sensors to zoom in on your body heat. Mosquitoes have preferences, and the smell of your sweat determines whether you're a yes or no on their dinner menu.

How to Get Rid of Mosquito Infestations

Now that you know more about mosquitoes, it's time to consider what to do about them. Swarms of biting mosquitoes may be a nuisance and a health menace, but they're no match for our experienced MosquitoNix® team. Contact us today for information about our remote-control automatic misters, and our superior hands-on mosquito control services.

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